[Medea] said: "Why do you hesitate? Act now!
Take up these swords and drain the old blood out,
that I may fill his veins with vibrant blood.
Your father's life and youth depend on you.
If you have filial love for him, the prove
your hopes are more than empty gestures: do
this service for your father; let your blades
expel the rot and rid him of foul age!"
Spurred by the witch's words, each girl was keen
to be most pious through impiety –
most pure by rushing to impurity.
And yet no daughter dared to watch as she
brought down her blade: all turned their eyes away;
backs turned, they hacked; their savage strokes were blind. (7.332-342)
How often my petitions were repelled;
how often she replied: 'I save myself
for one alone; wherever he may be,
it's he who'll share my joy!' Could any man
whose mind was not awry have failed to see
in that, firm proof of her fidelity?
But I was still not satisfied. I kept
insisting (harming only my own self);
for just one night, I promised countless wealth;
and then I added gift on gift – until
I forced her to the point where she might fall. (7.734-740)
And Bacchus, glad to see his teacher safe,
rewarded Midas so: the god would give
to Midas anything that he might wish
(a gift both flattering and – if one picks
unwisely – perilous). The king made this
sad choice: "Do grant that anything that is
touched by my body turns to yellow gold."
That prayer was granted by the god, and so
Bacchus discharged the fatal debt he owed. (11.100-104)